To James and Alice Barlow

29 April 1870


[MS in Finney Papers 2/2/2]


Ohio. U.S.A.

Oberlin CollegeŸ 29th April 1870

My Dear Br. & Sister Barlow,

I have just read with tears &

a melting heart the reported proc

eedings of the meeting on occasion

of the presentation of Br. Barlow's

portrait to the town of Bolton.

O how it has moved my heart

& increased my longing to see you.

And your dear employees. How

it has quickened my remembrance

of meeting with them at their

place of business when numbers

of them professed to turn to the

Lord. Indeed, Dear Bolton

has come up with its streets.

& buildings - its market - its

Temperance Hall - Its crowded

audiences - its solemn interested

faces - their tearful eyes & all

the stirring scenes through which

I past with my Dear Wife when

[page 2]

there. But connected with all

those stiring scenes, the vivid

recollection of my Br. & Sister Barlow.

Our delightful residence with you.

Our deep & earnest love of both of

you & yours of us - Our love of your

Children & th[e]irs of us - & above all

the blessed revival scenes through

which we passed, has stired

my soul to its depths. The respect

& love of your employees - the testimony

of all classes to Br. Barlow's integrity

is a great comfort to me. An[d] then

the tribute of confidence & respect

paid to sister Barlow has touched

my heart & made it easier for

me to forgive her not writing to me.

But Sister Barlow will you not

write me. I want to hear from

your own self how you are in

soul & body. From your silence

I have been tempted to infer that

you are not yet out of the wilderness of

[page 3]

doubt in which I found you.

Whatever you[r] state of mind is do

write me & let me know how to

pray for you. Do let me hear from

you both, & all about your family.

About the state of religion there

& so far as you know at Manchester.

Br. Barlow, I think this meeting

will do good in many ways.

will [it] not stimulate other

employers to so treat their

employees as to lessen the

frequency of strikes & the turbulence

of clubs & trades unions & all

that kind of thing. Will you

not give my dearest love to such of

your employees as remember me.

Tell them that I think of them

in mass often although I have

not much recollection of them

personally. Also give my love to Br.

& Sister Bell & in short to such of

my friends as you may chance to meet

[page 4]

& who may care to hear form me

both in Bolton & Manchester.

My health is quite good. I preach


twice ^ & Sab. as usual, & the word of

the Lord is proved from week to

week to be the power of God to salvation.

We have had a continuous revival

for nearly a year. Indeed we are

always having here, what would

be regarded as a revival in any other

place. You wer[e] here i.e. in Washington

when the infamous fugitive slave

bill was passed, What a change has

God wrought. We can hardly realize it

ourselves. Our College is highly prosperous.

Your scholarships are doing good

service. I keep them in constant

use, giving the benefit of them

to indigent but worthy students.

I do wish you could come and see us. Why

cant you come over this season & pay

us a visit. I so long to see you that had

I the means I should visit you once

more. I want to visit my former

fields of labor & preach at least

a few times to my old friends in the Lord.

[page 5]

I have written you of my present

precious wife. She is just such

a wife as I need. She is full

of health & good spirits. Loving &

faithful as can be desired.

I marvel that God has given

me another of his best daughters.

I must say that in Bolton, we

made the acquaintance of

several of the finest & best women

we saw in England. Mrs Best,

Mrs. Smith, Mrs Bell, Mrs Barlow

& many others. We were particularly

struck with the fact that the

Wesleyan ministers are as a body

so much blessed in their wives.

As a class we did not meet

their equals in England.

I have often thought of this, as a

marked providence of God.

The fact is that Wesleyanism has

been the salvation & the glory of

England. The more I saw of

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England the more I was impressed

with this fact. The Methodists in

this country are a great power

& are doing much good, but

relatively they are not what

the Wesleyans are in England.

I have shaken off official responsibility

to this College. I had borne the

burden & heat of the day until

I last fall resigned all official

relation to the College. True my

resignation had been tendered

before & unanimously rejected, &

my last has not be[en] accepted,

but I think it will be. At any

rate I must be excused from

giving so much time & strength

to teaching classes & spend

my remaining strength in

preaching. I have a great & highly

intelligent congregation & amongst

them about 1000 students. It seems

to be my duty to teach the masses

[page 7]

rather than spend my strength

in the class room, shut up

to a company of mere students.

I preach with nearly as much

ease, & so far as I can see with

as much profit to the people

as ever in my life. I can not

preach as often as formerly,

but whilst my strength

holds out I can preach

as well I think. My people

profess to think, better. At any

rate preaching Christ is my

joy, my business, my life.

Br. & Sister Barlow if I were

pecuniously as able to go &

see you as you are to come


& see me I ^ think it duty

to see you soon & talk & pray

over former, present, & future

times. Where & How is Thomas.

Which of your boys expects to take

your place? Many of my

[page 8]

English friends are gone to heaven

since I left there. I had a precious

letter from Br. Brown of Houghton

recently. He is married a third

time. The same precious spirit as

ever. Dr. Campbell of London

has gone to his account. I want

to ask a 1000 questions but you

could not get time to answer

them. How are your old neighbors

the Johnsons. How is that mizerly

man a Mill owner who professed

to be converted in my room

at your house.? This vast country

is fast improving. We are getting

settled & reconstructed & great

revivals of religion are prevailing

in every direction. Rapidly as our

population increases, conversions incre

ase faster. In 1800, the members of evan

gelical Churches were as one to thirteen,

Now they are as one to six, & the

ration of gain is constantly increasing

God bless you all for evermore

C. G. Finney



Finney describes this incident in his Memoirs, p. 604.

This word is unclear, but it may be "clubs".

The Barlows were in America in 1854. See "James Barlow Esq., J.P." in Bolton Journal, 1 June 1878, p.7. The Fugitive Slave Law was passed in 1850.

This man was probably John Sharples, of the firm of Sharples and Horrocks. Finney describes his encounter with him in his Memoirs, p. 608.